Work to start on transforming part of Keynsham town centre in January
Public seating, bicycle parking, and wider pavements with new paving will be installed
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Work to transform part of Keynsham town centre will begin in January — but some local businesses say ‘it just seems to never end’.
Public seating, bicycle parking, and wider pavements with new paving will be installed in the New Year on Temple Street, just down the road from Keynsham High Street. There will also be small areas with planters and greenery called “parklets” along the shopping street.
Some parking is being removed in order to make the changes but disabled parking spaces will actually be extended, in order to make them line up with modern standards.
Mark Roper, cabinet member for economic development, regeneration and growth on Bath and North East Somerset Council, said: “I’m pleased that we will shortly be beginning this important scheme to improve the whole environment of Temple Street for everyone who visits, works at or lives in the area.”
Some local businesses are worried about how the planned improvements will affect their trade.
Karen McGregor, a partner at Vapour Generation, a vape shop on the street, said: “For the last couple of years, Keynsham seems to have been dug up from one end to the other.”
Nine months of work was recently carried out on Keynsham High Street, finishing in March 2021, to improve the street and install a segregated cycle lane, which has since become a hotspot for people falling because of the raised kerbs. No segregated cycle lane is planed for Temple Street.
Ms McGregor said: “It’s got to the stage where people are maybe skipping Keynsham now because its a nightmare to park.” But she added: “On a positive note, I do feel that once its done it will be lovely — or I hope it will be.”
Assistant manager of lingerie store Perfect Fit, Jackie Baker, said: “We do think its going to impact on our trading.” She added: “It just seems to never end.”
Across the street at Number 1 Turkish Barbers, owner Zring Mustafa said: “I don’t know what to do about it. I am not happy taking all the parking because otherwise Temple Street is going to be dead. It’s already dead.”
Not all parking will be removed and, following a public consultation last year, more parking will be retained than originally proposed.
Mr Roper said: “We are grateful to the many people who took the time to respond to our consultation last year. We have listened to the feedback and acted on it to change the final design, which means keeping more car parking spaces and providing more greenery. We apologise for any disruption during the works and we are working with our contractor to keep this to a minimum.”
Andy Wait, chair of Keynsham Town Council, added: “It is an impossible task to satisfy all requirements. We have had many serious discussions and are confident that we are close as we can be to the best compromise. I believe that most people will enjoy the extra facilities and freedoms the new space will offer and look forward to seeing the plan reach fruition.”
Work will start in January after the street is set up ready and deliveries of materials begin arriving on January 9. The seating and greenery are being installed on a trial basis before the council decides whether to make them permanent.
People with questions or comments can contact [email protected] or write to Keynsham HS HAZ Project Team at the Keynsham Town Council Office, 15-17 Temple Street, Keynsham, BS31 1HA.